Empire State College

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State University of New York-Empire State College
Empire State College logo.png
TypePublic Liberal Arts
Endowment$14.5 million[1]
PresidentVacant, as of March 3, 2018 [2]
Academic staff
182 full time and 1,206 part time[3]
Saratoga Springs, New York, USA
(administrative offices)
Campus34 locations across the state of New York
AffiliationsState University of New York

Empire State College, one of the 13 arts and science colleges of the State University of New York, is a multi-site institution offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees,[6][7] and distance degrees worldwide through the Center for Distance Learning. Empire State College is the only SUNY institution that offers open admissions, is adult-serving and has a majority of online students.[8][9]

The School for Graduate Studies offers master's degrees. Empire State College's Center for International Programs also has special programs for students in Lebanon through the American University of Science and Technology, Czech Republic, and Greece. From 2005 to until 2010, Empire State College and Anadolu University in Turkey offered a joint MBA program. It also has arranged learning opportunities with UAW-Ford University, United Steelworkers of America, Corporate Noncredit Training, eArmyU, Navy College Program and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local Union #3).

The College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[10] Empire State College administrative offices are located in Saratoga Springs, New York.


College presidents
Name Tenure
James W. Hall 1971–1998
Joseph B. Moore March 2000 – June 2007
Kimberly Cline (acting) June 2007 – October 2007
Joyce Elliott (interim) October 2007 – July 31, 2008
Alan Davis August 1, 2008 – July 31, 2012
Meg Benke (acting) August 1, 2012 - May 8, 2013
Merodie A. Hancock May 9, 2013 – March 3, 2018 [11]
Mitchell Nesler (Officer-in-Charge) March 3, 2018 - Present [12]

Empire State College was designed by then SUNY Chancellor Ernest Boyer in a document titled "Prospectus for a New University College." [13] In 1971, Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the State University of New York, conceived a new college for the state’s public university: a college dedicated to adult, student-centered education. Empire State College would invite people into higher education by removing impediments to access such as time, location, institutional processes, and even curricular custom, as well as habits of learning and teaching. Students individually would define their academic needs, purposes and efforts. The college would be flexible in supporting them, through its faculty, policies and procedures, to achieve demonstrable college-level learning. This is the animating idea and the root of Empire State College.


Empire State College fulfills this mission by providing learning opportunities designed to accommodate students with family, work and community responsibilities. At the core of the learning-teaching environment is individualized study and the creation of an individual degree plan that is supported by a faculty mentor to whom each student is assigned. Empire State College students can take advantage of multiple modes of study including guided independent studies, study groups, intensive residencies, online courses and blended-learning experiences. The college also was one of the first institutions in the United States to develop a program of prior learning assessment, whereby students may earn college credit through assessment of prior learning from their work and life experiences.

The undergraduate degrees within broad areas of study offered by Empire State College are individualized to support a learner's academic, career or personal goals.[14] The college offers flexible programs, including distance education, extensive transfers of credits from other universities, prior-learning assessment for knowledge gained through independent studies, standardized evaluations, and the opportunity to design one's own degree with an academic advisor or mentor.[15]

Degree Programs[edit]

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Areas of Study

  • The Arts
  • Business and Economics
  • Community and Human Services
  • Cultural Studies
  • Educational Studies
  • Historical Studies
  • Human Development
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Labor Studies
  • Public Affairs
  • Science, Mathematics and Technology
  • Social Science

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Arts in Adult Learning
  • Master of Arts in Community and Economic Development
  • Master of Arts in Labor and Policy Studies
  • Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Master of Arts in Social Policy
  • Master of Business Administration in Global Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration in Management
  • Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Education in Teaching and Learning
  • Master of Science in Nursing [1]
  • Master of Science in Finance

Certificate Programs[edit]


  • Certificate in Business and Environmental Sustainability


  • Advanced Certificate in Child and Family Advocacy
  • Advanced Certificate in Community Advocacy
  • Advanced Certificate in Financial Management and Analysis
  • Advanced Certificate in Global Brand Marketing
  • Advanced Certificate in Health Care Management
  • Advanced Certificate in Human Resource Management
  • Advanced Certificate in Innovation Management and Technology Transfer
  • Advanced Certificate in Nonprofit Management
  • Advanced Certificate in Optometry Business Management
  • Advanced Certificate in Project Management
  • Advanced Certificate in Public History
  • Advanced Certificate in Public Sector Labor and Employment Policy
  • Advanced Certificate in Veterans' Services
  • Advanced Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies


  • School for Graduate Studies
  • Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies
  • International Programs
    • Athens, Greece
    • Beirut, Lebanon
    • Eskişehir,Turkey
    • Panama City, Panama
    • Prague, Czech Republic
    • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
    • Thessaloniki, Greece
    • Tirana, Albania
  • Western New York
    • Alfred
    • Batavia
    • Buffalo/Cheektowaga
    • Canandaigua
    • Corning/Elmira
    • Dunkirk
    • Lockport
    • Jamestown
    • Olean
    • Rochester
  • Central New York & Capital Region
    • Albany
    • Auburn
    • Binghamton
    • Fort Drum
    • Ithaca
    • Johnstown
    • Latham
    • Plattsburgh
    • Queensbury
    • Saratoga
    • Schenectady
    • Syracuse/East Syracuse
    • Utica
    • Watertown
  • Downstate
    • Brooklyn
    • Hartsdale
    • Hauppauge
    • Manhattan
    • Nanuet
    • Newburgh
    • Old Westbury
    • Riverhead
    • Staten Island

Notable alumni[edit]

The Coordinating Center at Saratoga Springs, New York

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 17, 2012. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  2. ^ https://www.esc.edu/news/around-college/2018/mitchell-nesler-named-officer-in-charge-of-suny-empire-state-college.php
  3. ^ "2010–2011 Fact Book". Saratoga Springs, New York: Empire State College: 95.
  4. ^ "2010–2011 Fact Book". Saratoga Springs, New York: Empire State College: 30.
  5. ^ "2010–2011 Fact Book". Saratoga Springs, New York: Empire State College: 30.
  6. ^ Patricia Lefor; Meg Benke; Evelyn Ting (2001). "Empire State College: The Development Of Online Learning". International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 1 (2): 1–16.
  7. ^ Jack Lindquist (1976). "Empire state college: Can there be an experimenting college?". New Directions for Higher Education. 1976 (15): 83–94. doi:10.1002/he.36919761507.
  8. ^ https://www.suny.edu/media/suny/content-assets/documents/excels/SUNY-Excels-PIP-Narrative_Empire-State_20151223.pdf
  9. ^ https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=empire+state+college&s=all&id=196264#enrolmt
  10. ^ "Accreditation | About Us | SUNY Empire State College". www.esc.edu. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  11. ^ https://www.esc.edu/student-connection/issues/issue-132/other-news/saying-farewell-to-merodie-a-hancock.php
  12. ^ https://www.esc.edu/news/around-college/2018/mitchell-nesler-named-officer-in-charge-of-suny-empire-state-college.php
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Colleges Without Walls". Time Magazine. Time, Inc. August 28, 1972. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  15. ^ James W. Hall; Richard F. Bonnabeau (1993). "Empire State College". New Directions for Higher Education. 1993 (82): 55–66. doi:10.1002/he.36919938206.
  16. ^ Barbara J. Love (2006). Feminists who changed America, 1963-1975. University of Illinois Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-252-03189-2. Retrieved January 4, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°04′40″N 73°46′57″W / 43.0777°N 73.7826°W / 43.0777; -73.7826